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Health Foundation: nurses’ basic earnings have fallen by 5% in real terms

The Health Foundation has published new analysis exploring trends in NHS nurses’ pay. The analysis looks at the impact of the current high inflation and other factors affecting nurse pay and discusses how the current NHS staff pay determination process could be improved to meet NHS workforce priorities.

Between 2011 and 2021, NHS nurses’ average basic earnings fell by 5% in real terms (after accounting for consumer price inflation).  

If this year’s NHS Pay Review Body recommendations accept Government’s request to cap any pay increase for 2022/23 at 3%, a further significant real-terms reduction in nurses’ pay will be the outcome. 

The authors outline that there must be a fully effective and independent review body system, based on full commitment of all parties, including governments, to accept, implement and fully fund its recommendations in full. 

James Buchan, Senior Fellow, The Health Foundation said: "The NHS has long suffered from chronic nursing shortages. With many nurses burnt out after working on the Covid front line, and all now facing increased cost of living challenges, it’s vital that nurses feel valued and their hard work is fairly recognised when this year’s pay settlement is implemented by Government. 

"We also need to take a longer term perspective that reflects changes in the external environment and changing trends in the labour market to ensure that NHS pay can be used most effectively as part of an overall workforce strategy. That is why we are arguing for the need to shift to a three year pay cycle and review the current system to ensure it is not discriminatory, and for there to be a more targeted approach to any pay enhancements or flexibilities.

"While the NHS faces challenging funding prospects, a real terms pay cut this year would not contribute to retaining and motivating current staff. NHS services can only recover if there are sufficient motivated staff in place."

The analysis can be read in full here

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Upcoming Events

Infection 360: What's trending in infection prevention & control

Edgbaston Stadium, Birmingham
27-28 September 2022

IP2022 IS COMING TO BOURNEMOUTH IN OCTOBER 2022

Bournemouth
17-19 October 2022

UKHCA Conference: Listen Up

Pendulum Hotel and Manchester Conference Centre, Manchester
3rd November 2022

MEDICA 2022

Dusseldorf Germany
14th November - 17th November

Future Surgery 2022

ExCel, London
15th - 16th November 2022

IDSc Annual Conference

The Eastside Rooms, Birmingham
29th - 30th November 2022

Access the latest issue of Clinical Services Journal on your mobile device together with an archive of back issues.

Download the FREE Clinical Services Journal app from your device's App store

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